20 VC 025: Finding the Right VC and The Evolution of Summly with John Henderson of White Star Capital

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John Henderson is Principal at White Star Capital, a VC firm helping exceptional entrepreneurs build great technology companies, with a presence in Europe and North America. Prior to White Star, John was Head of Business Development and Operations at Summly, playing a crucial role in the build up to their acquisition by Yahoo in May 2013. John has also spent time at Facebook working in strategy and business development and was a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.

 

Items (and incredible people!) Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Ben Horowitz: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (THE TWENTY MINUTE VC BOOK CLUB: WEEK ONE)

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

Shakil KhanChristian HernandezNick D’Aloisio, Frank Meehan

Bloglovin

Nuzzel

PandoDaily

TechCrunch

What you will learn in today’s episode:

  • How John got into the technology industry and later made his transition into the world of Venture Capital?
  • As Head of Business Development and Operations at Summly, what was it like for John working with Nick D’Aloisio? How did his role change in the buildup to the acquisition by Yahoo?
  • What does John think about Summary’s evolution into Yahoo News Digest?
  • What has been the biggest difference between John’s life as a entrepreneur compared to his life as a VC?
  • Does John believe it is crucial for startups to find a well-suited VC for their startup?
  • What does John advise startup founders to do or ask to ensure that a VC is the right match for them and their company?
  • Having made angel investments of his own, does John approach these personal investments in a different manner to his professional investments?
  • What advice John would give to anyone contemplating angel investing?

The episode then finishes with a quick fire round where we hear John’s thoughts on the future of bitcoin, John’s personal news reading preferences and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

 

20 VC 024: Financing Fintech with Marc Bernegger of Orange Growth Capital

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Marc Bernegger is Venture Partner at Orange Growth Capital, a Fintech investment firm with notable investments in the likes of Bux, Knip and Zopa. Prior to OGC, Marc was Partner at Next Generation Finance Invest (today Ayondo Holdings). However, Marc has experienced both sides of the table, as he was only 20 when he founded usgang.ch (trade sale to Axel Springer) and later went on to be founder of amiando (trade sale to Xing). As a result of these many successes Marc was awarded ‘Newcomer of the Year 2010’ by Swiss ICT.

Items mentioned in today’s show:

In today’s show you will learn:

1.) How and why Marc made his entry into the VC world in 2010?

2.) Marc specializes in the Fintech sector and has done since 2010, when it was really a very niche sector. How has Marc seen Fintech develop over the last 5 years? What did Marc see that everyone else did not?

3.) Which areas within the Fintech space Marc finds most interesting?

4.) What Marc sees the future of Fintech to look like? Does Marc see any trends arising in the space in 2015?

5.)In recent years Switzerland has trailed behind the likes of London and Scandinivia in Fintech, this seems to be changing with the recent Fintech hackathon held in Zurich, what does Marc think is bringing about this change?

6.)Where does Marc stand on the social integration of mobile payments?

7.) OGC is a investor in Bux, the social gamified trading platform, is this the way Marc believes stock market trading is moving? How does Marc respond to critics who suggest Bux allows the mass market who do not have the significant investing knowledge to gamble recklessly.

 

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Marc’s thoughts on the future of Bitcoin, what tips Marc would give to aspiring entrepreneurs and what the biggest difference between being an entrepreneur and an investor.

 

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